Riot Games has revealed its plans to make significant strides toward combating problems posed by AFK players, as well as players with an “intent to lose” in competitive League of Legends games.
In a Behavioral Systems update from Cody “Codebear” Germain, the game’s product lead on competitive gameplay, the company’s goals of reforming the way problems surrounding AFK players and intentional griefers throughout League’s landscape were addressed head-on.
Most notably, the game’s internal systems surrounding AFK players and their relation to the competitive experience as a whole is getting a massive overhaul. The game’s surrender system is getting updated to reflect situations where AFK players might negatively affect a given game. In the update, Codebear detailed a plan to “Update the surrender system to account for AFK players on your team.” The post explained that “when an AFK is detected, [the game] will refresh the surrender cooldown and alert your whole team, allowing you to surrender again immediately.”
Additionally, teams will have the option to surrender earlier when there’s an AFK player on their team.
But the most prominent point to come out of the developer update detailed the way players’ ranks—specifically in regard to LP gain and loss—will be affected in the event of a player going AFK.
Within the coming months, Riot plans to unveil a system that will reduce the amount of LP players lose when an AFK teammate is detected. The system won’t categorize games with a leaver as “free mulligans,” according to Codebear’s update. But still, the game will take into account “how the game was going before the player AFKed, and how often it’s been happening.”
To an even more interesting point, the update vaguely alluded to how toxicity would play a factor as well. Codebear said that “bullying someone into AFKing isn’t going to save you from an LP hit, but you’ll receive some recompense when a game turns for the worse,” implying that players who still engage in negative behavior will be negatively affected under the new system.
The update closed with a potential launch date for the “LP Mitigation” system. Riot intends to have these new features shipped to the live servers by Patch 10.24. Considering the game is on Patch 10.19 now and new patches typically release every two weeks, the system could be implemented as soon as late November.
This is good news for all League of Legends players, if griefers get punished more often then the ecosystem will be better for all players to practice.